The Canary Islands, a group of islands located off the northwest coast of Africa, have long been a subject of debate. Some argue that the islands do not truly belong to any one country, while others argue that they are an integral part of Spain. So, do the Canary Islands belong?
One argument for the Canary Islands belonging to Spain is their historical and cultural ties. The islands have been under Spanish rule for over five centuries and have developed a unique blend of Spanish and indigenous cultures. Spanish is the official language, and the islands are governed by Spanish law. This strong connection to Spain suggests that the Canary Islands are indeed a part of Spain.
However, others argue that the Canary Islands have a distinct identity and should be regarded as a separate entity. The islands have a unique geographical location and a diverse ecosystem, which sets them apart from mainland Spain. Additionally, the indigenous people of the islands, known as the Guanches, have their own distinct culture and history. These factors support the idea that the Canary Islands have a separate identity and should not be considered a part of Spain.
History of Canary Islands
The Canary Islands, also known as the Canaries, belong to Spain and are located off the northwest coast of Africa. The archipelago consists of seven main islands: Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro.
The history of the Canary Islands dates back to ancient times when the islands were inhabited by the Guanches, an indigenous people believed to have originated from North Africa. The Guanches had a distinct culture and lifestyle, living in caves and practicing farming and livestock breeding.
In the 15th century, the islands were visited by European explorers, including the Spanish conquistadors. The conquest of the Canary Islands by the Spanish began in the early 1400s and was completed in 1496. The Spanish colonization of the islands brought significant changes to the culture, economy, and governance of the archipelago.
The Canary Islands played a crucial role in the European exploration and colonization of the Americas. The islands served as a stopping point for ships traveling between Europe and the New World, providing a place for rest, supplies, and repairs. The strategic location of the Canary Islands made them an important hub for trade and navigation.
Over the centuries, the Canary Islands experienced periods of prosperity and decline. They were affected by various historical events, including pirate attacks, volcanic eruptions, and economic fluctuations. In recent years, the islands have become a popular tourist destination, known for their stunning landscapes, sunny climate, and unique cultural heritage.
Today, the Canary Islands are an autonomous community of Spain, with their own government and legislature. They have a diverse population, with people of Spanish, African, and Latin American descent. The islands’ economy relies heavily on tourism, agriculture, and renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power.
The Canaries remain a fascinating part of Spain’s history and a vibrant destination for travelers from around the world.
The ancient inhabitants
The Canary Islands have a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The archipelago was originally inhabited by a group of indigenous people known as the Guanches. The Guanches were believed to have arrived in the islands around 2,000 BC and lived a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
They were skilled farmers, fishermen, and herders, and they had a deep connection with the land and the sea. The Guanches built stone structures, such as caves and tombs, which can still be found on the islands today. They also created intricate cave paintings and carvings, showcasing their artistic skills and cultural heritage.
The arrival of the Spanish in the 15th century marked a significant change for the Guanches. The Spanish conquistadors colonized the islands and brought with them a new culture and way of life. Many Guanches were enslaved, and their population declined rapidly due to diseases brought by the Europeans.
Today, the descendants of the Guanches are considered an integral part of the Canary Islands’ identity and culture. Their ancient traditions and customs have been preserved and celebrated in festivals and events throughout the year. The Guanches serve as a reminder of the islands’ rich history and the diverse influences that have shaped their present.
Conquest by the Spanish
The Canary Islands, located off the northwest coast of Africa, have a long and complex history. The islands, which include Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote, among others, were originally inhabited by the Guanche people. However, the Spanish arrived in the 15th century and claimed the islands as their own.
The conquest of the Canary Islands by the Spanish was a violent and ruthless process. The Spanish colonizers, led by explorers such as Juan de Bethencourt and Alonso Fernández de Lugo, used their superior technology and weaponry to subdue the Guanche people.
The Guanche people fought valiantly to defend their homeland, but they were no match for the Spanish. The Spanish forces were able to conquer the islands one by one, enslaving the Guanche people and imposing their language and culture.
Today, the influence of the Spanish conquest can still be seen in the Canary Islands. Spanish is the official language, and the islands are an integral part of Spain. However, there are still strong cultural and historical ties to the Guanche people, with many Canarians identifying as Guanche descendants.
The question of whether the Canary Islands truly belong to Spain is a complex and contentious one. While the islands have been under Spanish rule for centuries, the indigenous Guanche people have a long and rich history that predates the arrival of the Spanish. The Canary Islands are unique and diverse, with a blend of Spanish and indigenous culture that sets them apart from the rest of Spain.
Ultimately, the answer to the question of whether the Canary Islands belong lies in perspective. From a legal and political standpoint, the islands are part of Spain. However, from a cultural and historical standpoint, the islands have a strong connection to the Guanche people and their heritage.
Regardless of where the Canary Islands stand in terms of belonging, one thing is certain: they are a fascinating and vibrant part of the world, with a rich history and unique cultural identity.
Trade and colonization
Since ancient times, the Canary Islands have been a strategically important location for trade and colonization. Due to their geographical location, the islands have served as a natural stopping point for ships traveling between Europe and Africa or the Americas.
The islands have been claimed by various civilizations throughout history, including the Phoenicians, Romans, and Arabs. However, the most significant colonization of the Canary Islands occurred during the 15th century when the Spanish Empire sought to secure control over the transatlantic trade routes.
In 1402, the Spanish Crown launched an expedition to the Canary Islands with the aim of conquering and colonizing the archipelago. Under the leadership of Juan de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle, the Spanish forces gradually subjugated the native Guanche populations and established control over the islands.
The Canary Islands played a crucial role in Spain’s expanding colonial empire. The islands served as a base for expeditions to the Americas, allowing Spanish explorers and conquistadors to resupply and repair their ships before continuing their journey westward. Additionally, the Canaries became a center for agriculture and trade, exporting valuable goods such as sugar, wine, and cochineal.
Today, the Canary Islands remain an integral part of Spain and the European Union. The islands are known for their unique blend of Spanish, African, and Latin American cultures, making them a popular tourist destination. The archipelago enjoys autonomy within the Spanish political system and has its own government, known as the Canary Islands Government.
Geography and climate
The Canary Islands is an archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of northwestern Africa. It consists of seven main islands: Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro. These islands are of volcanic origin and are known for their diverse landscapes, ranging from sandy beaches and dunes to rugged mountains and deep gorges.
The climate of the Canary Islands is classified as subtropical. Due to their close proximity to the Sahara Desert, the islands experience mild winters and hot summers. The average temperature ranges from 17°C (63°F) in winter to 24°C (75°F) in summer. The islands also benefit from the trade winds, which help to moderate the temperature and provide a pleasant breeze.
As previously mentioned, the Canary Islands are of volcanic origin. This means that they have a history of volcanic activity. The most recent eruption occurred in 2011 on the island of El Hierro. However, the islands are closely monitored by scientists, and measures are in place to ensure the safety of the local populations and tourists.
The Canary Islands are home to a unique and diverse range of flora and fauna. The volcanic terrain has created a variety of microclimates, which in turn support a wide array of plant and animal species. The islands are particularly known for their endemic species, which can only be found in this specific region. Some examples include the Canarian dragon tree, the blue chaffinch, and the Bolle’s pigeon.
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Location and formation
The Canary Islands are a group of islands that belong to Spain. They are located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the northwestern coast of Africa. The archipelago is made up of seven main islands: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro.
The islands were formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago. The volcanic eruptions and subsequent lava flows shaped the landscape and created the unique topography of the islands. Today, the Canary Islands are known for their beautiful beaches, stunning natural scenery, and diverse ecosystems.
The location of the islands, situated between Europe, Africa, and the Americas, has made them a strategic point throughout history. They have been visited and inhabited by various civilizations, including the Phoenicians, Romans, and Arabs, leaving behind a rich cultural heritage.
The Canary Islands are home to awe-inspiring natural beauty. Each island has its own distinct landscapes and attractions. Tenerife, the largest island, boasts Spain’s highest peak, Mount Teide, and offers a range of outdoor activities, from hiking to whale watching. Gran Canaria is known for its sand dunes, lush forests, and picturesque villages.
The islands are also known for their rich biodiversity. The diverse ecosystems support a wide variety of plant and animal species, many of which are unique to the archipelago. The waters surrounding the islands are home to dolphins, whales, and numerous fish species, making it a popular destination for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.
- Unique topography shaped by volcanic activity
- Seven main islands with distinct landscapes
- Strategic location between Europe, Africa, and the Americas
- A rich cultural heritage influenced by various civilizations
- Awe-inspiring natural beauty and outdoor activities
- Diverse ecosystems and rich biodiversity
The Canary Islands, belonging to Spain, are known for their diverse and unique ecosystems. These islands are located off the northwest coast of Africa and are an archipelago consisting of seven main islands. Each island has its own distinct environment and biodiversity.
One of the reasons why the Canary Islands have such unique ecosystems is their volcanic origin. The islands were formed through volcanic activity, which has contributed to the development of a wide range of habitats. From rocky coastlines to sandy beaches, from lush forests to arid deserts, the Canary Islands offer a variety of landscapes.
The islands’ isolation from mainland Europe and Africa has also played a role in shaping their ecosystems. Over millions of years, many plant and animal species have evolved in isolation, leading to the development of numerous endemic species. These endemic species can only be found on the Canary Islands and nowhere else in the world.
Furthermore, the islands’ position at the convergence of several ocean currents has resulted in a rich marine biodiversity. The surrounding waters are home to a variety of marine life, including whales, dolphins, turtles, and a wide array of colorful fish species.
Preserving and protecting these unique ecosystems is crucial, as they are not only important for the biodiversity of the Canary Islands but also for scientific research and ecotourism. Efforts have been made to establish protected areas and national parks on the islands, ensuring the conservation of these valuable ecosystems for future generations to enjoy.
Influence of climate on tourism
The Canary Islands, located off the northwest coast of Africa, are widely known for their favorable climate, which plays a significant role in attracting tourists from around the world. The unique climate of the islands, combined with their stunning natural beauty, makes them a popular destination for travelers seeking a paradise-like experience.
Mild and pleasant weather
The Canary Islands enjoy a mild and pleasant climate throughout the year, with average temperatures ranging from 18°C to 24°C. The islands’ proximity to the equator ensures that they have warm temperatures, even during the winter months. This pleasant weather makes it an ideal destination for those looking to escape cold winters or scorching summers in other parts of the world.
Diverse landscapes and outdoor activities
The Canary Islands offer a diverse range of landscapes, including volcanic mountains, sandy beaches, and lush forests. The favorable climate allows visitors to engage in a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, surfing, and sunbathing. Whether you are an adventure enthusiast or a nature lover, the islands’ climate provides the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable vacation.
In conclusion, the favorable climate of the Canary Islands is a significant factor in their attractiveness as a tourist destination. The mild and pleasant weather, combined with the diverse landscapes and outdoor activities available, make the islands a haven for travelers seeking a memorable experience. Whether you are looking to relax on the beach or embark on an adventure, the climate of the Canary Islands is sure to enhance your vacation.
The cultural identity of the Canary Islands is a fascinating blend of influences from various civilizations that have left their mark on these islands over the centuries. The islands, which belong to Spain, are located off the northwestern coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean.
The indigenous population of the Canary Islands, known as the Guanches, had a unique cultural heritage that included their language, customs, and artwork. However, with the arrival of the Spanish conquerors in the 15th century, the Guanches’ way of life was significantly impacted and eventually extinguished.
Today, the cultural identity of the Canary Islands is shaped by a rich mix of Spanish, African, and Latin American influences. This can be seen in the islands’ architecture, music, dance, cuisine, and folklore.
The Canary Islands’ architecture reflects a blend of Moorish, Spanish colonial, and modern styles. The traditional white-washed houses with green and blue accents are reminiscent of Andalusian style, while the use of volcanic stone is a nod to the islands’ geological history.
Music and Dance
The music and dance of the Canary Islands are vibrant and lively, with influences from African rhythms and Latin American beats. Traditional instruments such as the timple, a small guitar-like instrument, and the Canary Island castanets, known as chácaras, are commonly used in performances.
The most famous dance of the Canary Islands is the lively and energetic Canarian folk dance, known as the Isa. It is characterized by intricate footwork and lively music.
|The cuisine of the Canary Islands is a reflection of the islands’ diverse cultural heritage. African, Spanish, and Latin American flavors come together in dishes such as local fish stews, roasted meats, and the famous papas arrugadas, small potatoes cooked in salt and served with mojo sauce.
|Canarian folklore plays an important role in preserving the islands’ cultural identity. Traditional festivals and religious celebrations are marked by colorful costumes, lively music, and traditional dances. These events allow locals and visitors to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the Canary Islands.
The cultural identity of the Canary Islands is a testament to the history and diversity of this unique archipelago. Today, the islands continue to draw visitors from around the world who are captivated by their blend of cultures and natural beauty.
Native Guanche culture
The Canary Islands, as their name suggests, have a rich and unique cultural heritage. One significant part of this heritage is the native Guanche culture. The Guanches were the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands, and their presence can be traced back to at least the 1st millennium BC.
The Guanches developed a self-sustaining society on the islands, relying on agriculture, fishing, and herding. They lived in caves or simple stone houses and practiced a primitive yet sophisticated culture. The Guanches had a hierarchical social structure, with tribal chiefs and priests holding positions of authority.
Religion played a significant role in Guanche society, and they worshipped a range of gods and spirits. They had religious ceremonies and rituals, often involving animal sacrifices. The Guanche religion also included a belief in an afterlife, where their spirits would go to a place called “Echeide.”
Guanche language and art
The Guanches had their own unique language, known as Guanche, which has unfortunately been lost to history. Only a few words have survived, making it challenging to fully understand the language and its grammar.
Despite this loss, the Guanches left behind a remarkable artistic legacy. They were skilled in pottery, textiles, and stone carving, creating intricate designs and symbols. Some of their artwork depicted daily life, while others represented their religious beliefs and ceremonies.
The impact of colonization
The arrival of Europeans in the 15th century marked a significant turning point in Guanche culture. With the conquest and colonization of the Canary Islands, the Guanches faced violence, enslavement, and the introduction of new diseases. Their population rapidly declined, and their cultural practices were suppressed.
Today, the Guanche culture remains an essential part of the Canary Islands’ identity. Efforts are being made to preserve and promote Guanche heritage through museums, archaeological sites, and cultural events. The recognition of the Guanche culture is crucial in acknowledging the history and heritage of the Canary Islands and ensuring its continued existence.
Spanish and African influences
The Canary Islands, which belong to Spain, have a rich history influenced by both Spanish and African cultures.
Spanish influence is evident in the architecture, language, and traditions of the islands. The historic colonial buildings and churches reflect the Spanish colonial style, while the local dialect, known as Canarian Spanish, is a variation of the Spanish language. Traditional Canarian festivals and customs, such as the popular Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, showcase the Spanish influence on the islands’ culture.
The African influence is also strong, particularly in the music and dance of the Canary Islands. The traditional music of the islands, known as “música folclórica”, combines Spanish and African rhythms, reflecting the islands’ historical connection with Africa. The famous dance of the Canary Islands, “baile de magos”, features African-inspired movements and costumes.
Overall, the Spanish and African influences have shaped the unique cultural identity of the Canary Islands, making it a fascinating destination for exploring the diverse heritage of these islands.
Language and traditions
In the Canary Islands, the predominant language is Spanish, which is the official language of Spain. However, due to the archipelago’s tourism and international connections, many residents also speak English and other foreign languages fluently. The locals take pride in their Spanish heritage, and the Spanish culture and traditions greatly influence the daily life of the people living in the Canaries.
One of the most prominent traditions in the Canary Islands is the celebration of Carnival. This vibrant festival takes place in various cities across the archipelago and is known for its colorful costumes, lively music, and spectacular parades. The streets are filled with locals and tourists alike, who come together to enjoy the festivities and embrace the island’s joyful spirit.
Another tradition that is deeply rooted in the Canarian culture is the unique cuisine. The local gastronomy is a delicious blend of Spanish and African influences, resulting in flavorful dishes that are loved by both locals and visitors. Some of the Canary Islands’ traditional delicacies include papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes), mojo sauce, and gofio, a toasted grain flour that is used in many traditional recipes.
The Canarian lifestyle is also strongly connected to the sea. Fishing has always been a crucial part of the islands’ economy, and today, fishing villages can still be found along the coast. The locals have a deep respect for the ocean and its resources, which is reflected in their cuisine and cultural practices.
Overall, the language and traditions of the Canary Islands play a significant role in shaping the identity of the archipelago. They are an integral part of what makes the Canaries a unique and cherished destination for people from all around the world.
The Canary Islands have significant economic importance for both Spain and Europe as a whole.
These islands, located off the northwest coast of Africa, have a strategic position for trade and transportation between Europe, Africa, and the Americas.
One of the main economic sectors in the Canary Islands is tourism. The islands attract millions of visitors each year, thanks to their unique natural landscapes, pleasant climate, and diverse recreational activities. The tourism industry provides employment opportunities and boosts the local economy through hotels, restaurants, and various tourist services.
In addition to tourism, the Canary Islands have a thriving agricultural sector. The volcanic soil and favorable climate make it possible to produce a wide range of crops, including bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, and grapes. These agricultural products are not only consumed locally but also exported to other European countries.
The islands are also known for their rich fishing industry. The surrounding waters are abundant in fish and seafood, making fishing an important economic activity. The fish and seafood caught here are not only consumed locally but also exported to mainland Spain and other European countries.
Moreover, the Canary Islands have become a hub for international trade and services. The Port of Las Palmas, located in Gran Canaria, handles a significant amount of cargo traffic, serving as a transshipment point for goods moving between Europe, Africa, and the Americas. The islands also have a well-developed telecommunications infrastructure, attracting companies that provide call center services and other outsourcing activities.
Overall, the economic importance of the Canary Islands is undeniable. Their strategic location, thriving tourism, agricultural sector, fishing industry, and role in international trade and services contribute to both the local and regional economies.
The tourism industry is a vital part of the economy of the Canary Islands. These islands belong to Spain, but they are located off the northwest coast of Africa. The unique location of the islands contributes to their popularity among tourists.
The Canary Islands offer a diverse range of attractions for tourists, including beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and a mild climate all year round. The islands are also known for their volcanic origin and offer many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, and diving.
The tourism industry in the Canary Islands is the main source of income for the islands’ economy. The industry provides a wide range of employment opportunities, including in hospitality, transportation, and entertainment sectors. Many local businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, and tour operators, rely heavily on tourism for their success.
The islands’ tourism industry has experienced significant growth in recent decades, with millions of tourists visiting each year. The government has implemented various measures to support and promote tourism, such as improving infrastructure, developing new attractions, and implementing marketing campaigns targeted at potential visitors.
However, the growth of the tourism industry in the Canary Islands has also raised concerns about its impact on the local environment and culture. The increase in tourist arrivals has led to environmental issues, such as overcrowding, pollution, and strain on natural resources. There are also concerns about the potential loss of local traditions and customs as the islands become more reliant on tourism.
In conclusion, the tourism industry plays a crucial role in the economy of the Canary Islands. While it brings economic benefits, it also presents challenges that need to be carefully managed to ensure the sustainable development of the islands.
|Provides employment opportunities
|Potential strain on natural resources
|Brings economic benefits
|Contributes to infrastructure development
|Potential loss of local culture
|Promotes the islands on a global scale
|Attracts visitors from different countries
|Dependency on tourism
Agriculture and fishing
The Canary Islands, with their unique climate and geographical features, offer ideal conditions for various agricultural practices. The main crops cultivated on the islands include bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, and grapes. Belonging to Spain, the Canary Islands are an important source of agricultural products for the country.
The agricultural sector in the Canaries plays a significant role in the local economy, providing employment opportunities and contributing to the overall GDP. The islands’ volcanic soil, combined with the mild climate, allows for year-round cultivation and high-quality produce.
One of the most iconic agricultural activities in the Canary Islands is the cultivation of bananas. The fertile soil and warm temperatures create ideal conditions for the growth of this tropical fruit. Banana plantations can be seen across the islands, particularly in Tenerife, La Palma, and Gran Canaria. The bananas grown in the Canary Islands are known for their sweet taste and superior quality.
The Canary Islands are also well-known for their rich fishing grounds and vibrant fishing industry. The surrounding Atlantic Ocean provides abundant marine resources, making fishing one of the traditional economic activities in the archipelago. Local fishermen rely on both traditional methods and modern techniques to catch a diverse range of fish, including tuna, sardines, grouper, and octopus.
Canarian seafood is highly prized for its freshness and taste, and it forms an essential part of the local cuisine. The fishing industry not only supplies fresh seafood to the local markets but also contributes to the tourism industry by offering visitors the chance to enjoy delicious seafood dishes made from locally caught fish.
In conclusion, the agricultural and fishing sectors in the Canary Islands are vital to the local economy and culture. The unique climate and geographical features of the islands allow for the cultivation of various crops and sustain a thriving fishing industry. This contributes to the overall prosperity and identity of the Canary Islands as a distinct part of Spain.
Renewable energy sector
The Canary Islands, as a part of Spain, belong to the countries that are heavily investing in the development of the renewable energy sector. The islands have a unique advantage when it comes to renewable energy sources due to their geographical location and natural resources.
One of the most abundant renewable energy sources on the islands is solar power. The Canary Islands enjoy high levels of solar irradiation throughout the year, making it an ideal location for solar energy production. Large-scale solar power plants have been constructed across the islands, providing a significant amount of electricity to the local grid.
Furthermore, with the strong and consistent winds that blow across the islands, wind power is also a promising renewable energy source. The Canary Islands have invested in wind farms, equipped with modern wind turbines, to harness this powerful natural resource. These wind farms contribute to the generation of clean and sustainable energy.
In addition to solar and wind power, the islands are also exploring other forms of renewable energy, such as geothermal energy and biomass energy. With their volcanic origins, the Canary Islands have significant geothermal potential that can be tapped into for sustainable energy production. Biomass energy, derived from organic materials, is also being utilized as a renewable energy source on the islands.
Investing in the renewable energy sector is not only beneficial for the environment but also for the economy of the Canary Islands. The development of renewable energy infrastructure creates job opportunities and boosts the local economy. Moreover, by decreasing the reliance on fossil fuels, the islands can reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to the global efforts in combating climate change.
Overall, the Canary Islands are actively taking part in the transition towards a more sustainable future by developing their renewable energy sector. The abundance of natural resources and favorable geographical conditions make the islands an ideal location for harnessing clean and sustainable energy.
What are the Canary Islands?
The Canary Islands are an archipelago located off the northwest coast of Africa and are a part of Spain. They consist of seven main islands: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro.
What is the status of the Canary Islands?
The Canary Islands are an autonomous community of Spain with their own government and parliament. They have a special tax status and a certain level of internal autonomy, but are ultimately a part of Spain.
Are the Canary Islands considered a part of Europe?
Geographically, the Canary Islands are located off the coast of Africa, but politically and administratively, they are a part of Spain, which is a member of the European Union. Therefore, they are considered a part of Europe.
Can the Canary Islands be considered an independent country?
No, the Canary Islands cannot be considered an independent country, as they are a part of Spain and are not recognized as a sovereign state by the international community. They have a certain level of autonomy but are still ultimately a part of Spain.
Do the Canary Islands have their own language?
While Spanish is the official language of the Canary Islands, there is also a distinct dialect known as Canarian Spanish, which has its own unique features and vocabulary. However, it is not considered a separate language.
Do the Canary Islands belong to Spain?
Yes, the Canary Islands do belong to Spain. They are an autonomous community of Spain and have been part of the country since the 15th century.
What is the geographical location of the Canary Islands?
The Canary Islands are located off the northwest coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. They are part of the African Plate but politically belong to Spain.